How to name a no. 1 brand
What do all champion brand names have in common? They’re memorable, they make you feel something and you own it. Simple, right? Well, that’s the thing. If you’ve ever sat down and scribbled out some names, chances are you’ve run into a few roadblocks. It sounds boring. The URL is already taken. There’s no product association.
You are going to face these problems. Marketing Architects did. But it didn’t stop us from creating the most famous cane brand in history, the HurryCane. Even if you don’t have a team of 60+ linguists in more than 40 different countries to help you pick out the perfect brand name—ahem, Lexicon—here are a few key guidelines we followed to create the category-busting HurryCane.
1) Pick a name that’s polarizing. Don’t go vanilla. I repeat: DON’T GO VANILLA. This is the time to really stretch your creative muscle and come up with a name that genuinely stands out in the category—disrupts it, even. It’s gotta be a little edgy, maybe even a little silly and something everyone’s not going to like.
The medical device industry (specifically canes) never put much equity into its brand and product names, so Marketing Architects seized a golden opportunity to differentiate itself from the pack through branding. Still, we heard negative feedback about naming the brand HurryCane. People told us we can’t name a company after a natural disaster. The more polarizing the feedback, from love it to hate it, we knew we were onto a name that would be sticky.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if everybody loves the name, you aren’t trying hard enough.
2) Decide what you want your brand name to mean. Most brand names have a story behind it. It all depends on what you want your brand to communicate. When picking out brand names, people often end up choosing one of four common types of names:
Descriptive (or functional): This type of brand name usually relays what the company does or what the product is. (ex. Bath & Body Works)
Invented: Brand names that are invented typically have no inherent meaning (outside of referencing the company) because they’re completely made up. However, they still have a way of making you feel something. (ex. Google)
Evocative: This kind of brand name is born from the essence of the company or product, designed to paint an image for a consumer. (ex. Victoria’s Secret)
Experiential: The goal of this kind of brand name is to connect the brand to the experience you’ll have with it. (ex. Facebook)
HurryCane is an experiential brand name. We knew it would be important to convey the benefits of the brand and the experience people will have with it—mobility. We also wanted it to be memorable. So we thought about it; a hurricane is a force of nature, unstoppable. This cane will literally help people gain mobility again, so they can keep moving. The name definitely fit. And by using a play on words with “hurry,” we knew we could make it our own. Speaking of which…
3) Own it. You’re going to want to choose a brand name that you can own, fully. Start by making sure the trademark for the name you chose is actually available. One great site for doing an initial screening is trademarkia.com. After that, you’ll definitely want to own the URL—considering a percentage of your customers will search for you by directly typing in a URL. Others will use a search engine, which is why it is also imperative you own the brand name in search. The wrong name can drive up your search cost pretty quickly, especially if your brand name contains keywords that get bid on aggressively. The less generic the name, the better your brand name’s chance of getting found organically as well.
So how does HurryCane measure up?
Marketing Architects’ unique approach to product naming gave HurryCane the highest unaided recall of any cane brand on the market. But industry stats aside, you know you made it when Jay Leno talks about it on The Tonight Show!
Do you already have a No. 1 brand name? Or do you have an amazing product that could use a name do-over? Either way it’s time to call Marketing Architects. We can help you bring the Next Big Thing to TV using over 20 years of performance marketing experience. Let’s talk today!
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